Indian Journal of PsychiatryIndian Journal of Psychiatry
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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 61  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 60-64

Comparative efficacy of baclofen and lorazepam in the treatment of alcohol withdrawal syndrome

Department of Psychiatry, Government Medical College and Hospital, Chandigarh, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ajeet Sidana
Department of Psychiatry, Government Medical College and Hospital, Chandigarh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/psychiatry.IndianJPsychiatry_40_17

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Background: Benzodiazepines (BDZs) have been the treatment of choice for alcohol withdrawal syndrome (AWS); however, they are associated with several side effects and also have abuse potential. In some studies, the use of baclofen has been effective in reducing symptoms of alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Aim: The objective of this study was to compare the efficacy of baclofen and benzodiazepine (lorazepam) in reducing symptoms of AWS. Materials and Methods: It was a single-center, randomized, open-label study. Patients with alcohol dependence syndrome were enrolled in the study and randomized into two groups using computer-generated random table number. Baclofen (experimental group, 10 mg three times a day) and BZDs (control group, lorazepam, 8–12 mg/day in divided doses) were orally administered for reducing symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. Both groups received Vitamin B1 (100 mg/day through intramuscular route) and psychotherapeutic interventions. The severity of alcohol dependence was assessed by using the Severity of Alcohol Dependence Questionnaire, and alcohol withdrawal was assessed with the Clinical Institute Withdrawal Assessment for Alcohol, revised (CIWA-Ar). Results: Sixty-six patients were randomized (baclofen n = 34, benzodiazepine (BZD) group n = 32). Two patients (one patient in each group) had complicated withdrawal symptoms and were dropped from the final analysis. There was a significant reduction in alcohol withdrawal symptoms in both groups. There were no significant differences in CIWA-Ar scores between the two groups. Both the drugs were well-tolerated. Conclusion: Baclofen and lorazepam are comparable in efficacy and tolerability in reducing symptoms of AWS.



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